The trust has a long history of supporting young people and organisations within the parish. To give an idea of what can be achieved with the funding here are some examples from recent years.
I am now finishing my final year of my Chemistry degree at Plymouth University, and have been very fortunate to receive a bursary from the Thomas Williams Educational Foundation at the beginning of each of the three years.
Without their generous support, I would not have been able to fund a new laptop and additional text books that have helped me considerably throughout my studies. My course had relatively long hours in the laboratory, which meant a part time job during term time was not feasible. This grant also helped me with the general expenses of living away from home.
I would urge anyone who believes they might be eligible to complete the application (which was not as daunting as I first expected) because the trust appear very eager to help young people in the village.
The Thomas Williams Educational Foundation first supported me with a very generous donation when I was fundraising to go to Chile with Raleigh International in 1998, which was a wonderful experience and extremely rewarding. When I went to University College London to study Architecture, I was supporting myself on my student loan, holiday work, and bursaries. The Foundation continued to assist me with further donations during this time, which was an invaluable support to my studies. I am now a fully qualified Architect and working with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (who won the 2008 RIBA Stirling prize). My experience in Chile has inspired me to continue with charitable work: In my spare time I am part of the working group for the charity “Architecture for Humanity UK”, and (on behalf of my office) I am currently leading a team of architects and engineers volunteering our services to help expand and improve a vocational secondary school in rural Uganda.
For all of this, I owe a big debt of gratitude to the Thomas Williams Educational Foundation for it’s generous support with my education. With University fees soaring in recent years and set to rise further, the Foundation’s support is needed more than ever to encourage and enable local kids to achieve their goals in life.
Many thanks again and kind regards, Andy Macintosh
I first contacted the Thomas Williams Educational Foundation in 2002 before commencing my studies at Glasgow University. The Foundation responded with a generous donation and continued to support me throughout my studies. This support was particularly helpful as I was solely dependent upon my student loan. The money was especially useful for purchasing text books as well helping to cover general expenses. In particular the support from the Thomas Williams Educational Foundation enabled me to work abroad in my summer holidays rather than focusing on maximising my income. This allowed me to greatly improve my French language skills which has been invaluable to my career. I am now working in financial crime for Barclays Bank.
The Thomas Williams Educational Foundation offers valuable support to local kids wishing to enter higher education. I know several people who have been supported in their studies by the Foundation and all are most grateful for the vital financial assistance given.
“Bere Regis Swimming Club has for many years benefitted from generous grants from the Williams Trust . This has helped the club to grow and flourish with around 160 members on roll today. We have been very grateful for the trust’s support as it has enabled us to buy new equipment and train new teachers. Training qualified swimming teachers has always been the lifeblood of a club like ours. We are very much a voluntary, community led, learn to swim club with the aim to take children from complete beginner to being confident and at home in the water. This is surely a life skill worth encouraging and as we live near the coast, an important safety issue. Every child should learn to swim and with the William’s Trust support and encouragement, we have been able to achieve this goal over 40 years. Thank you Williams Trust for all your continuing support and encouragement ”
Bob Holman, Chairman Bere Regis Swimming Club
Over the past few years the Thomas Williams Educational Foundation Trust (TWEFT) has made a number of grants to Bere Regis Scout Group. These grants have taken two main forms, firstly to enable purchase of much needed equipment and secondly to help children from less well-off families to enjoy their scouting to the full.
Scout Groups need equipment, particularly for camping and outdoor activities; this tends to be expensive. Bere Regis Scout Group is basically a village group with a few members from surrounding villages. Over the past few years we have increased our numbers (up 25% in six years) which has put more demands on our equipment; in addition scouting is open to both boys and girls (Bere Regis is roughly 50% girls!). As well as increasing our stock we need to replace worn out equipment. With the support of TWEFT we have been able to purchase several items to support our camping activities.
For example, we use a large mess-tent for central cooking and stores. With the growing numbers attending camp we required something larger and with the support of TWEFT we purchased a new central section to enlarge the existing one. These pictures show the extended mess-tent in use. This is used for scout week-long summer camps as well as weekend family and other camps involving the whole group.
With the increasing number of scouts we also need more tents and equipment for camping generally. On summer camp, scouts cook many of their own meals in their patrols (5 or 6 children in each). They prepare the food and eat in dining shelters and the picture shows one of two new dining shelters, purchased by a grant from TWEFT, in use at camp in summer 2009.
These are just a few of the items we’ve been able to purchase with the help of TWEFT.
Scout Groups generally have a policy to offer scouting to everyone regardless of their ability to pay! To this end Bere Regis Scout Group offers reduced subscriptions and activity fees to children whose family might find it difficult to pay. Recently TWEFT awarded the Group a grant to help allay some of these costs. This has been and will be used to ensure that no child in Bere Regis is excluded from the group due to inability to pay.
Thus TWEFT has enormously assisted Bere Regis Scout Group to continue to offer high quality scouting and to increase in size with confidence.
Chris Gall, Bere Regis Scout Leader